Category Archives: baby + kid rooms

nursery room reveal -003

how to create an accent wall in a nursery

3rd June 2015

Last week you saw the pink and mint nursery moodboard for Maya and the items I was keeping and nixing from her first room. Let’s dive in next – how to create an accent wall in a nursery. We’re talking pink and ice cream cone decals, folks. Holla!

design inspiration! a pink + mint + white girl nursery design moodboard via the sweetest digs

Before any of the fun stuff, I first needed to get the room painted. I LOVE myself some white walls with fun bright colours in accents, so I got to work painting the trim, baseboard and walls in a bright white – PARA Paint’s “Whitewash White” – using an eggshell finish for the walls and PARA’s door & trim paint for the trim. It’s a really cool, bright white, which works in this space because we have two windows which let in tons of natural light. Did you catch Emily Henderson’s post recently about when NOT to paint walls white? If not, you should check it out. It totally makes sense.

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Remember those ice cream decals from the moodboard? Well, I spotted them through my fave decals source, Urban Walls, and barely paused before I hit the purchase button. Seriously, how cute are they? I could die. I have used Urban Walls products in past projects (like their big heart in this client’s nursery) and not only are the designs amazing, but the product is easy to use, good quality, and affordable.

ice cream cone decal, urban walls decal,

Originally my plan had been to put the decals straight onto the white wall where Maya’s crib (and eventually bed) will go, but I had a sudden urge to throw some pink on that side of the room to balance out the pink dresser, which I knew would be on the other side. So, out came PARA Paint’s “Flushed”. This colour isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s a full on pink. And I love it.

pink paint, paint can, para paints

Decals time. They are individual rather than sheets, so you can choose exactly how you want your spacing to look like. I did a quick count of how many I had, and then calculated out how many rows it would give me with about a foot between each decal, and half a foot between each row. Once I had figured out that basic placement, I tapped up my decals using painter’s tape. I was able to step back and view it all, before going one by one and removing the backing and applying the decal to the wall. PS – the space in the middle of the wall will make more sense in a sec.

applying ice cream cone decals

Note: If I wanted to be really precise, I would have put the first one up, then measured a foot every time, making a pencil mark where the center of the decal should go. Having a laser level would have also been helpful to make sure my lines were perfectly straight. But you know me… sometimes I don’t have enough patience and I figured I could more or less eyeball as I went. Luckily, it worked out. #Phew

I also kept the colour placement random, but made sure not to stick like 4 mint cones in a row.

The result? SO FUN!!!! Oh my goodness I want to marry those decals. They are just the cutest. My only thought had been “what if I’m promoting unhealthy eating in my daughter?” which is so the health promotion academic in me speaking. Like maybe I should have gone for pineapples or watermelon (fruit!) instead? But I just loved the ice cream cones too much. I figured I was being ridiculous, and stuck with my sweet cones.

DIY, accent wall, nursery design, pink, ice cream cone decalnursery room reveal - 2a

See the M-A-Y-A letters up on the wall? I used those at her first birthday party (originally from Indigo, now sold out sadly). Well, my plan was always to use them in her room. I love the way the gold looks next to the pink, and plays into the gold light fixture, too. Hello, meant to be.

DIY, accent wall, nursery design, pink, ice cream cone decal

Sidenote: That light fixture? If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember it from the bungalow. It was the fixture I pulled out of the garbage, removed all the yarn (it was one of those hippy yarn-covered pendants, which can be cool… this one was not), and spray painted it black. I gave it a new coat of gold for Maya’s room (my go to Krylon gold spray paint), and threw a vintage style bulb in. That $0 garbage fixture always gets lots of love from visitors (“oooh, where did you get the light fixture? I love it!”). So funny, hey?

So there it is – A beautiful accent wall for a kids room! Pretty easy, eh?

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Stay tuned for the rest of the room reveal. Usually I would share more about the room coming together in bits and pieces (as it does in real life), but because Merry Mag is coming out next Monday, you’ll get the full “after” of this room then! Get excited. Not just about the room (which I will say is all kinds of cute), but for Merry Mag. This summer issue is going to be packed full of amazing articles and project ideas. The contributor lineup is bangin’.

Update: You can now see the full nursery reveal here.

Have you guys used decals before? Into accent walls, or do you prefer to just carry a look through to all four walls? I know people can be divided on this. What else is going on? Any new news? Do tell. 

craft project: toddler hand and foot prints

#mamacraftfail, or hand and foot prints with a toddler

3rd November 2014

When Maya was first born – almost 15 months ago – I thought it would be sweet to get her hand and foot prints. I think I have my footprints in my baby book somewhere. Just so teeny tiny and sweet. Well, you know what this procrastinating mama did? Leave it and leave it and leave it, until last weekend when I realized she would be 16 before I knew it and I needed to get my butt into gear and do this little crafty project.

I don’t have pictures of the scene because we needed all hands on deck, but it went a little something like this: Dan sitting on the toilet (we did this in the bathroom for proximity to sink – very important), holding a naked Maya down on his lap, me grabbing a foot trying to put black paint on it, while Maya kicks her other foot and wonders what is going on. Foot prints actually go OKAY (not perfect, but okay), but black paint gets on Dan’s clothes. We wash feet. Now hands. Maya getting very tired of not being able to be let loose. I’m holding her hand (Dan holding other one so there is no clapping action), and I start to paint it black. Maya wonders what on earth I’m doing to her hand and starts to cry a little. Thinks hand is going to be black forever? Starts flailing. Dan freaking out that he is going to get more paint on his clothes. Should have thought of this earlier and changed into grubby clothes. I try desperately to press Maya’s hands down on multiple pieces of paper. Maya flailing around more, and hand prints go everywhere. Maya tries to bite me to get her hand free. I yelp. Disaster.

So my lesson learned? There is a reason people do this project when babies are BABIES, not toddlers.

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Maybe I’ll just call the hand prints one abstract? My little Picasso?

This set of foot prints, which happened to be the ones on the canvas I had lying around, are actually a bit of a success. Will be making it up onto the wall.
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If you’re going to tackle this one at home, you don’t need much in the way of supplies. All you need is paint, paper, and a cooperative little person. I used black acrylic paint (washable!) and some watercolour paper and one small stretched canvas I had from the dollar store. I chose black because I knew I could always scan and digitally edit the colour afterwards. Plus, I like the graphic impact of the black on white.

Not my finest parenting moment. Hopefully we can try this project again when Maya is actually into doing crafts?

modern blue and purple nursery

a blue and purple nursery for Meredith

29th October 2014

My favourite part of any decor project is install day (ohhh, the accessories!) – it’s the moment when it all comes together. Well, install day has come and gone, and we can officially call this nursery for sweet baby Meredith done-zo. What we ended up with was a blue and purple nursery that feels soothing and personalized, with a little dose of whimsy.

blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

Even though we didn’t do much to the actual room (same paint colour, existing crib, dresser, light fixture, etc) the space feels like a far cry from where we started:

IMG_20140414_122620 IMG_20140414_121926Let’s start in the reading corner. We used IKEA Ribba picture ledges to maximize the small amount of wall space. I love that the outfacing shelves turns books into artwork.
blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

I love kids books, don’t you? Snuggling up for a story has got to be one of the best parts of parenthood. Maya is starting to sit more still when we read her books, but I still think her favourite part is just turning the pages and “reading” herself (ie. chatting as she points at the page). Funny girl.

blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

I hung this darling little felt bunting. It (and some other accessories) came handmade from the Blue Without You Etsy shop. Let me just tell you – this seller is AMAZING. She will use custom colours to match your room’s decor, and is just a total pleasure to work with. Highly highly recommended!

blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs Moving onto the next corner of the room, we have the used-to-be-green dresser. I knew a two tone application of grey and white paint would totally transform this bad boy.

blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

Okay and see that cute change pad cover? It came from another Etsy seller – ButtercupForrest. We actually bought two different covers so that they can be switched out when there are certain blow out issues going on. This shop has pretty much every fabric you can imagine, so you’re bound to find something that works for your room scheme.

Can I just say, I was such a naive new mama when I was pregnant and thought that just one change pad cover would be sufficient. I was all “why would I ask for/purchase TWO of these and waste money on this? Money can be put to way better use”. Ahhhh little did I know the amount of …. well, pee and shit .. that would occur and go everywhere in those early months. So the lesson? Just buy two (or more) change pad covers. You won’t be sorry.

blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digsBack to the room makeover. There was what my friend/client Sarah titled “The Great Ottoman debate” when we were doing the nursery. I initially had bought one from Target that had some pattern and hits of yellow in it — this was when I was going down the initial path of a more colourful, eclectic vibe in the room. When I got a better sense from Sarah and Jeremiah that they wanted a more soothing room staying true to the purple and blue scheme, I returned that ottoman and we decided to go ottoman-less. A few weeks later, Sarah was doing some browsing and came across some knitted aqua beauties at Restoration Hardware and started having second thoughts on the ottoman debate. She sent the link to me, and I quickly totally encouraged her to hit the “buy” button (come on, Restoration Hardware? LOVE). And that’s how we ended up with this vibrant blue guy in the room. I think it goes beautifully, don’t you? 
blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

Okay, so now moving on to the other side of the room. Here is the little gallery wall I hung up (okay, Dan hung up – love that handy hubby of mine). White Ribba frames from IKEA (mattes turned around so that they are a crisper white), the ‘Sweet Pea’ sign from Target, a mixture of photographs and artwork (the LOVE you print is from my shop!), and some handmade goodies. blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

The ‘Be Brave’ embroidered hoop and felt flowers are from this Etsy seller (the one I raved about above). So cute, right? blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

And the decal!! I love this part of the room. The impact it makes behind the crib on a wall that otherwise might have been left blank, is amazing. The grey is warm (duh, the colour is called “warm grey”) and it works perfectly on the blue. You can find the heart decal here, but warning – you may end up browsing Urban Wall’s shop for hours. It is FULL of sweet decals. I may or may not have already ordered some for Maya’s room in the new house (can you guess which one?). blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

Another darling handmade piece from Blue Without You. We custom requested the violet colour to match with the egg chair on the opposite side of the room – it really helped to integrate that colour into the space.
blue and purple nursery decor for a baby girl - via the sweetest digs

Some labelled pics, specifically for Pinterest. PS. Do you follow me on there? I would love it if you did (@thesweetestdigs)!
decorating a nursery in pastel blue and purple - via the sweetest digs nursery bookshelves using IKEA Ribba picture ledges via the sweetest digs

All photos in this post are care of Jeremiah Soucie – client/friend/Father to baby Meredith. Thanks J!

And now for the big long list of where everything came from.

Source list:
-Paint colour: Rainwashed, Sherwin Williams
-Drapes: Varenna Ash from Tonic Living
-Mobile: Blue Without You Etsy Shop
-Felt bunting/flags: Blue Without You Etsy Shop
-“Be Brave” embroidery hoop art: Blue Without You Etsy Shop
-Felt flowers: Blue Without You Etsy Shop
-Large heart decal (in ‘warm grey’): Urban Walls
-Throw pillow on chair: Fabric #3 in this collection
-Pouf: Restoration Hardware (in aqua)
-Change pad cover: ButtercupForrest on Etsy – Fabric selection #3
-‘Love you’ art print: My etsy print shop! 
-White side table: Wayfair
-Frames: IKEA
-‘Sweet Pea’ sign: Target
-Rug: Overstock trellis rug (in grey)
-Crib sheet: Target
-Crib: already owned
-Dresser: DIY project
-Egg chair: already owned

It’s going to be a sweet space for Meredith to grow up in, don’t you think? And most of the items in there should be able to grow with her. Maybe the egg chair will eventually come out and a little desk or something go in. In any case, I know Sarah and Jeremiah love it – which totally makes my day! 

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meredith’s nursery makeover: the plan

17th October 2014

We’re back today with the in-progress post about Meredith’s nursery makeover. Remember how I posted here about the office I was helping turn into a nursery for some friends? This was the original moodboard to guide direction in the room.

moodboard - draft

Since we already had some of the big stuff done – the paint colour (the blue was staying), the crib (had been used by their older daughter), the purple egg chair (cause really, how fab is that piece?) – it was really about bringing accessories into the room. We needed to add the life and fun into the room, you know?

First up was this dresser. Sarah and Jeremiah had had it for ages, and it didn’t have to stay in the room… but it was a perfect size and I knew a refresh was would bring it back to life.

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The plan? Paint the drawer fronts a light grey and the body of the dresser white. The two-tone effect will totally turn this dresser around. Inspiration was this dresser from Overstock.

dresser inspiration grey and white

The window was in need of some coverings. After browsing every single fabric on the Tonic Living website (they are a Toronto based fabric company with gorgeous stuff!), and pouring over the choices, we settled on Varenna Ash.

verena ash fabric drapery

I was originally thinking something with some punchy yellow (see my original moodboard), but Sarah and Jeremiah liked that it was a bit more toned down in the grey and white scheme. I liked that it still brought some pattern into the room, so we went for it. Oh, and we asked for Tonic Living to also add some blackout lining to the panel – this is a baby’s room after all and let me tell you, anything to get some extra sleep in those early months is a must (ya feel me, mums and dads?).

The window is in a narrow little nook – see the ceiling angles in this before pic?IMG_20140414_121926

Because of this, it made sense to only do one panel that would drape across the window and then pull back to one side when not in use. Kinda like this DIY curtain found on Design*Sponge. A good solution for a small window, and it has a sweet, cottage-y vibe, don’t you think?

curtain

Now, for the walls. I wanted to bring in a mixture of elements. My mind started to veer toward gallery wall, a decal, bookshelves, and some fun garlands/buntings/etc.

Gallery wall – I taped out an appropriate space on the main empty wall and grabbed some white frames from IKEA and a ‘sweet pea’ sign from Target. Because this gallery wall was pretty small, I didn’t bother taping pages cut to frame size up on to the wall to get the placement right – I just laid everything on the ground and eyeballed it.

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For behind the crib? I thought a decal would be the right solution as it wouldn’t be able to fall down into the crib or be something that the baby could grab at. I have been DYING to use this big heart decal from Urban Walls. Have you guys seen Urban Walls decals popping up all over the place? I looooove them.

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The only space to squeeze in some bookshelves was on a small patch of wall beside the closet, with the chair in front. So to accommodate the narrow space, I decided to grab some IKEA Ribba picture ledges, which can hold books upright. I love the way this designer styled them in her daughter’s room.

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On the rest of my shopping list was a side table for beside the purple chair, a throw pillow, an ottoman, a rug, change pad cover, crib sheets, and baskets for laundry and toys. This is one of my favourite parts of doing a room. The hunt. The traipsing around town for the perfect thing. Love it.

It turned out really cute, guys! I’ll post the whole ‘after’ early next week., so stay tuned.

In the meantime – have a great weekend! Doing any special? We’re off to the 613 Night Market event here in Ottawa. Hello, date night! Oh and hitting up the pumpkin patch with Maya on Sunday.

Meredith’s nursery decor: the beginning

7th October 2014

Earlier this summer, a girlfriend of mine was preparing for baby #2 – another girl to add to their sweet family – and reached out for a little help with the nursery. You guys know how much fun I had with Maya’s nursery, so I jumped at the chance at being a part of this project.

The room had been an office, but Sarah and Jeremiah (clients) had already moved the office out and put the nursery stuff they had kicking around in.

Here is a look at what we were starting with. The room is small, but it has slanted ceilings which give it nice character, and there is a window letting in plenty of light.

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The room had been painted this soft blue a few years earlier, and Sarah and Jeremiah were keen to keep the colour (it is a lovely shade).

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There were various elements in the room that I was starting with – the “must keep” list:

-paint colour (it got touched up during the project, but the colour remained the same)
-crib (it was the crib their first daughter had used)
-green dresser (this wasn’t actually a MUST keep, but the dimensions of the piece worked in the small space and I knew a coat of paint would revive it)
-purple egg chair

What purple egg chair, you ask? This one.

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How fun is that? I should mention that Sarah and Jeremiah have amazing taste, with a side of quirky. It’s the best. Their house is absolutely gorge – I should really do a house tour so you can get a glimpse.

Anyway, back to the nursery. If I had it my way, I always prefer to start completely from scratch where I can find an inspirational starting point, and build a room from there. When you begin with existing elements, unless they are exactly what you would have picked yourself, it can be more of a challenge. However, I knew we could make this room super sweet and tie these elements together in a thoughtful way. Challenge accepted!

I started out the project by creating a moodboard – both to help myself envision how I was going to bring together the different colours and pieces, and also to give Sarah and Jeremiah a vision of where the room would go. This is what I came up with.

moodboard - draft

In the end, this moodboard was a bit more eclectic and colourful than where we ended up, but it was a good spot to start from.

What about you guys? Do you find it easier to start from scratch with decorating projects, or do you like the challenge of pulling it together with existing elements? Been decorating a nursery or kids room lately? They are so much fun, right?

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a blue and yellow baby nursery for Mae

7th July 2014

A new niece arrived into our lives a few weeks ago – little miss Mae. She is so sweet and cuddly and we are smitten. Her parents’ are Dan’s younger brother, Doug, and his wife, Ginny. They also happen to be some of our besties and live in the same neighbourhood as we do (we talked up the neighbourhood for years to them, so when they finally came back to Ottawa they were sold!). Actually, you might remember Doug and Gin from their Toronto apartment tour back in the day, here.

Anyway, Ginny is a superstar decorator and always makes her places feel beautiful and welcoming. Little Mae’s room was no exception. They didn’t know if they were having a boy or girl, so they did this in a “gender neutral” way (I’m not a big fan of that term… but you get the idea).

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The room was already painted a soft greige colour, and so Ginny added in elements of white, grey, yellow, and robin’s egg blue. A pretty and soothing palette.

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Everything was done by hand. They painted a bunch of furniture (the blue is ‘Provence’ by Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan), sought out vintage-y pieces, and put up cute artwork. Those lace-filled embroidery hoops were actually from Ginny and Doug’s wedding decor!

Oh and most of the “big” pieces in the room (crib, rug, chair, etc) are from IKEA. Just another demonstration that you don’t need a big budget to create a lovely looking space!

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So – remember the vintage frame that I kitted out with wire to hang photographs from a few weeks ago? This guy (see that post here)?

vintage window turned picture frame

Well, after I used it for my friend’s seating chart at her wedding (this frame has gotten great use lately! More on that one another time…) – Ginny’s 30th birthday was around the corner and I suddenly realized that the frame might make a really sweet gift for my vintage, rustic chic – loving sister in law.

I had been sent a free pot of the ‘Provence’ Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, the colour Ginny had used in her nursery, and so decided to give the frame a coat of paint. I knew this was the right paint for this project as it didn’t require all of the sanding and prep that other paint requires – one of the features of the Chalk Paint®. With a crackly vintage frame, this was key. I sanded off anything that was super flaky, but pretty much left it as-is.

The paint was really easy to apply and goes on like butter. Seriously. This stuff is like cream. The blue looks much more vibrant in this photo (outdoor lighting) than it does in real life. The photos of the frame in the nursery are way more true to the colour.

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I did two coats for really good coverage, but I probably could’ve gotten away with just one. I sanded the corners down again a little bit to let some of the wood show through.

There is a second stage in the process when you’re using this paint, and that is to wax the surface (I had a pot of the clear wax). I gather there are special wax brushes you can use, but I just used a rag cloth I had in my paint supplies stash. Worked like a treat.

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I had some 5×5 photos of Ginny, Doug, and Mae printed and popped them into the frame. The great thing about this type of frame is that they can switch out the photos to newer ones of Mae as she grows into a little girl. Maybe even put some of her pieces of artwork in it down the line.

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In terms of a review of the Chalk Paint®, I was pleased. Like I said, it goes on really really smoothly and the coverage is excellent. You really don’t go through a lot of paint. And being able to skip the whole sanding and priming stage is amazing – particularly for older pieces that would require major prep. If you were working with a perfectly smooth, finish-free piece of wood furniture though, I’m not sure that this type of paint would really provide much of an advantage – whether you’re doing chalk paint + wax or regular paint + poly, it’s the same number of steps, and the Chalk Paint® is going to be more expensive. One difference though is the more matte finish that the chalk paint gives – again personal preference, but I dig the un-glossy look. Oh and if you’re into the French antique look, you can get all creative with the dark wax and mixing colours to create all kinds of finishes. That’s kind of what I always associate with Chalk Paint®, but you don’t *have* to go that route (I didn’t). I have yet to try out the paint on a big piece of furniture to see how it wears over a longer period of time, but I’m definitely going to give it a whirl. All in all, I’m digging it.

And the frame? Went over *really well* with Ginny (yay), and it looks like it was meant for the room.

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Sweet nursery, right? What’s your favourite part? Mine are the embroidery hoops and crates on the wall.  

 

Disclaimer: I was sent some Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan for free, but was not required or compensated to write this review. I just thought you’d be interested to hear about my experience using it – all opinions are 100% me. 

tribal

audrey + gem: art prints summer sale

2nd July 2014

It’s Wednesday and it feels like we are only just starting the week. Gotta love that. Dan took Monday off work and had Tuesday off for Canada Day, so we had an extra extra long one. Did some cottaging and lots of relaxing. So lovely. I got some cute photos that I’ll share later this week.

I have been having so much fun creating new art prints for my etsy shop lately. I haven’t had as much time to do any watercolours – seting up, cleaning up, and actually having time to paint means I need at least a couple of hours free (not so easy with a 10 month old!) – so when I can steal 20 or 30 minutes at my computer, I love to get creative digitally instead. And ever since I become a mum, I have been pretty inspired to create prints for nurseries and kids rooms.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of my newer ones here and also let you all know about a summer sale I am having over at the shop! We’re doing a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promotion. So if you have a baby shower to go to this summer, need a gift for someone, or just want some new artwork for your walls – head on over and pick some up! All prints are $15, so you’ll be getting 3 for $30. There is no coupon code required: Simply tell me in the “message to seller” upon checking out which 3rd print you would like, and I’ll include it with your order.

The latest in my kids collection –

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>> Dream Big

>> Free to be Me

>> Free Spirit

>> Follow your own Path

>> Be adventurous, my darling.

I have been slightly triangle-obsessed, as you can see from this grouping —

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>> F is for Finn

>> Be Brave

>> And though she be but little, she is fierce.

>> Love you (in turquoise – other colours available!)

The vintage watercolour florals are sweet and summery —

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>> Red poppies

>> Deep purple floral

>> Light purple floral

>> “Hello Lovely” floral

And there are still the watercolour maps, watercolour animals, and other prints as always in the shop.

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Head on over to check them out! And don’t forget about the promo – Buy 2, get 1 free (let me know in the “Message to seller” upon checkout which 3rd (and free!) print you would like). Happy browsing!

DIY letter via the sweetestdigs

DIY monogram door letter

2nd June 2014

One little project I have been wanting to do ever since Maya was born was to find a letter ‘M’ to put on the outside of her door – you know, one of those DIY monogram door letters. It’s not like in our wee little house there was any question as to which room was hers (ha – we have 3 interior doors – total!), but I liked the idea of marking her room in some way. And plus, once we (hopefully) have our bigger pad, she will have more of a room all to herself – and not sharing with our small office.

I had been looking out for a big letter ready for crafting with. I didn’t really love any of the ‘M’s at Michael’s (my usual go-to place for craft supplies), so when I saw this one at Walmart I knew it was the one. It wasn’t a “frilly” font, was a good size, and a great price at only $2 on clearance.

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I was trying to decide how I wanted to embellish it. I thought about a painting it to appear like a burnished aluminum, straight black, ribbon, etc. but then I was in my room I noticed this scarf that I have. I love the tribal-like pattern on it and thought that I could take this as inspiration and apply it to the letter.DSC_0068

I decided to go with a light grey as a background colour – the white letter itself was a bit marked, so I wanted a layer of paint on it before I applied the pattern. Then I lightly drew on the pattern free-handed. I wasn’t too careful or copied the scarf exactly, but I liked where I ended up.DSC_0066

Since this will go on a plain white door, and as it’s for a kids room, I went bold with the colours. I started with pink and aqua from the existing decor in Maya’s room, and then added in a darker turquoise and bright orange. It’s vibrant and fun, I think. DSC_0228

Nothing is too perfect, but I like the hand painted look to it. DSC_0225

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To finish it off, I sprayed it with a clear top coat to keep it protected from chipping and fading. I haven’t actually added two little hooks on the back yet to hang it from a door, but I’ll post a pic when I do! DIY letter via the sweetestdigs

It was nice to get a little crafty again. I have been jonesing to do some creative stuff lately – with the travel and packing up our house – any DIY stuff has gone on the back burner. I already have another project on the go, so hopefully I am getting back into my groove again.

Have you ever put any letter or signage on the doors in your pad? I love a good vintage bathroom sign, or decal. 

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brittany’s baby book crate

15th January 2014

I don’t usually have guest bloggers, but when Brittany (a fellow Ottawa gal) got in touch about her latest project – I couldn’t resist! Brittany is a local photographer – you can check out her photography site/blog here (she even throws in a DIY every now and again, like this nail art – totally adorbs). She is sharing her book crate today, which she made as a baby shower gift. Over to you, B…

 

Hey there fellow The Sweetest Digs readers! I’m excited to be guest blogging a little DIY project for you today. Although photography is my thing, DIYing is definitely a close second.

A friend of mine recently had her first baby. His name is Oliver and he is an endless pile of adorable-ness. She is a pretty amazing woman and she is a spectacular Momma Bear.

I was trying to figure out what to get for the little guy, and since she has Toys R Us rage burning deep inside of her – she didn’t have a typical baby registry. So I decided instead to make Oliver a little crate for books and personalize it just for him.

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I fought the temptation to fill the crate with the Twilight books… I will probably wait until Ollie is older and will appreciate the literacy masterpiece that is the Twilight saga. (Please read the previous sentence with a sarcastic tone while at the same time accepting the fact that I have indeed read the Twilight series… now try not to judge).

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I made the base and two sides of the crate with a 1×8 knotty pine board. I used a 1×3 for the pieces along the front and back. I cut the base piece 12 inches long and the side pieces slightly shorter at 10 inches. You can easily do this project without any big tool – I just used my hand saw instead of getting out my circular saw.  

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I know what you are thinking…. and yes I always wear my Michael Kors watch while working with tools, I feel like it gives a good balance to the paint splattered baseball t-shirt. Sometimes you need a little bling to class up the garage.

(Again… that last sentence needs to be read sarcastically)

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We sanded down all of the boards so that the edges and corners were smooth. (Not exactly a rocket-science idea since it is for a baby… but I still thought I should mention it)

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Once all the pieces were ready to go I measured out the holes for the side handles. I bought the handles in the hardware section at Home Depot and the screws they came with were the right depth for my board. I pre-drilled the holes for the handles (but didn’t actually put the handles on) and then assembled the rest of the box.

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I gave it two coats of Winwax Special Walnut and once it was dried I added the handles and got ready to paint.

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I printed ‘OLIVER’ off the computer and coloured in the back of the letters with a pencil. Then I laid the stencil along the front 1×3 and traced around the outline of the letters with a pen. This transferred the pencil from the back of the paper onto the board. And Viola! I had an outline to paint.

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I did two coats of the paint and let it dry over night. In the morning I sanded over the name very lightly with a 320 grit sandpaper. It just gave it a bit more worn look which I liked.

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Big thanks for letting me hang out with you today. Feel free to check out my Blog over at www.BsmythPhotography.blogspot.com

Happy DIYing!

Brittany

How cute is that? Wouldn’t that be just the best baby shower gift? Love it. Thanks a million, Brittany. It was such a pleasure having you pop by the blog! What about you guys? What do you do for book storage in your place? Ever DIY’d a baby gift?

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beautiful books: using IKEA spice racks as bookshelves

12th November 2013

Even though we had finished our nursery makeover before Maya arrived in August, there was one project that remained on the to-do list: some bookshelves. There remained a blank wall between the doorway and the closet that was the perfect spot for some slim bookshelves (the area to the left of the closet which you can see in the pic below).

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When I helped design my friends’ nursery last year (check it out here), we used IKEA spice racks as bookshelves andI loved the way they came out. Easy to assemble and paint, and it’s nice to have the books facing outwards. Cute, right?

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Well, I knew these would be the perfect solution for our little sliver of wall – the narrow profile was going to be just right. So I made a trip to IKEA a few weeks ago to grab four ‘Bekvam’ racks at $7 a pop, and pulled out some spray paint that I already had on hand. I started off with a layer of primer, and then did quite a few coats of a flat white. I did end up doing a light sand between coats with a fine grit paper to get the racks more smooth. They really soaked up the paint, so be ready to do quite a few thin coats (5 or 6, maybe?).
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The back is all ready to be mounted to the wall, but you need to have your own mounting hardware.
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We used one of Maya’s bigger board books as a guide for how much space we wanted between the shelves (14 inches). We centered the shelves on the wall, and placed them so that they would be low enough for Maya to grab at when she’s a bit bigger.
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The light switch was in a weird spot, but I didn’t want the shelves to be off-centered on the wall, so we just made sure that the switch would come between two of the shelves and still be easily accessible.
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Then I popped in some of little miss Maya’s books – all ready to go for bedtime stories.
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Sorry about the bad lighting in these photos. It was overcast here this weekend (we even got our first snowfall!), so not much natural light coming in from the window.DSC_1132

The design of the spice rack really is perfect for holding books up. I kept it to 4-5 books per shelf, but there is still plenty of space to add a few more books per shelf if I decide to.DSC_1133

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It’s so nice to have some of the books out of our big basket and up on the wall. Aren’t books just the best? If we had a really huge room, I would have loved to do bookshelves across a whole wall. Whatever the colour or size, I just think they make a room look cozy, don’t you?

Have you guys done this spice-rack-as-shelves trick? Do you display lots of books in your home? Are you bedtime readers? Do you have a favourite children’s book?

Linked up to Living Well Spending Less, The BrambleBerry Cottage, the DIY Dreamer